Baobab (Adansonia za) and rainbow. Berenty Reserve, Southern MADAGASCAR
Flowers between November and June
HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION: West of Fort Dauphin up to Analalava. Prefers calcareous soils and is the only species in the spiny forest on limestone of the Mahafaly Plateau in the deep south.
ENDEMIC TO MADAGASCAR
There are eight baobab species in the world. 6 are endemic to Madagascar, one from Africa and one from Australia. Baobabs probably evolved in Madagascar after Gondwanaland split and the Africa and Australian species must have arisen from colonising fruits floating across the Indian Ocean. In Madagascar the 6 species have evolved to fit their own niche within the dry forest zones. The 7th (African) species was introduced by Arab traders and is planted in some of the town in the north west.They are dryland plants and are 'drought survivors' and are able to store water from a sporadic downpour very efficiently within the soft, porous wood of their big, fat trunks. They are quite fire resistant.